We are only a few days into 2022, and there’s much big news about some significant changes coming to the anime streaming services.
On Wednesday, January 5, AMC Networks announced to have completed the acquisition of Sentai Holdings LLC, which means all the brands, including Sentai Film Works, HiDive streaming service, and the fantastic Cool Japan Fund, Inc., a public-private Japanese investment fund. are all owned by AMC Networks.
The streaming industry is getting more competitive, and many companies turn to anime to fill out their content libraries: January 6, just a day after Sentai’s Holding sales. In addition, Cinedigm announced to have acquired DMR (Digital Media Rights), a media company that owns and operates a variety of smaller streaming platforms; Among them is RetroCrush, a platform that provides free, supported streams of classic anime series from the 80s to early 2000s.
It’s getting hard to keep track of who is buying who at this point. However, the big question now is how this influences the anime industry? Would it be a positive or negative influence? We all know what happens when a large corporation buys a little one – I mean Crunchyroll and Funimation got sold to Sony, and we’ve seen how that turned out, and now this?!
Many Western anime distribution companies are guilty of censorships, anime ban, changing of scripts, and the likes. But I doubt if that will be the case with AMC. As evidenced by:
“We are thrilled by AMC Networks’ acquisition and are excited to be a part of their growth strategy. This acquisition will not change Sentai’s mission to deliver the most exciting anime content to audiences around the world — it will expand it greatly and will give our content businesses more distribution, more partnerships, more scale, and more reach. I could not be more pleased.”John Ledford, Sentai’s Founder
Plus, it was stated in the press release that the executive management team would continue in the senior role. So, let’s all hope for the best from Sentai. Of course, anything could happen, but there’s a bit more reason to be optimistic about how AMC will handle things versus Sony.
In all, we will see many changes in the entertainment industry, as all these companies trip over each other trying to make more content.